US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt briefed Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias on Tuesday on Washington’s decision to impose sanctions on Turkey over Ankara’s purchase of a Russian missile defense system.
In light of Monday’s decision for the sanctions, which were imposed under the provisions of the Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA), the pair also discussed regional issues and developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The sanctions, which also target the Directorate of Defense Industries (SSB), an organization under the direct supervision of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, could deal a significant blow to Turkey’s domestic defense industry, and impact its pride and joy, the Bayraktar UAVs.
These were also hit about two months ago when Canada decided to ban the export of critical weapons systems to Turkey, resulting in the Bayraktar TB2 losing access to target and surveillance systems and sensors that were supplied by the Canadian L3Harris WESCAM, a subsidiary of the American L3Harris.
Political analysts have noted that while Turkey, as a NATO member, is being sanctioned by another Alliance country, the only ones who support it are Iran and Russia. And this as a result raises some questions about the course that Ankara will follow in the near future. NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg expressed his “regret that we are in a situation where NATO allies have to impose sanctions on each other,” urging all those involved to find a “positive solution.”
Meanwhile, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu expressed his dissatisfaction with Washington’s decision in a phone call to US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. In Turkey, journalists and politicians expressed their concern that the developments may be worse when President-elect Joe Biden takes over.